Enticed by friends and searching for eternal spring, Pat Girczyc packed up her experiences as a nurse, educator, and public health professional, left Chicago and moved to Humboldt County in 1980. Along with raising her daughter and son, she worked part time as nursing faculty at Humboldt State University (HSU) while returning to school to earn a family nurse practitioner license. Pat spent 5 years as a family nurse practitioner and held the position of Director of Community Health and Wellness for United Indian Health Services. The majority of her career was spent educating nursing students at College of the Redwoods, HSU, Sonoma State University; and as an administrator facilitating both health career advancements and innovations in teaching. Pat still craves deep dish pizza, Italian beef sandwiches, and continues to cheer for the Cubs, forty years after leaving her native Chicago.
Why Life Plan Humboldt is Important To Me
My husband and I were raised around multiple generations of family. Our “greats and grands” told stories of experience and adventure. They also shared skills as bakers, fly fishers, tinkerers, and farmers as well as their experiences, thoughts and adventures. I have always been drawn to elders. Early in my career I worked with the elderly in hospitals, at home, and in the community. As a nursing faculty, my content expert was in. gerontology. I learned to respect and be wonder-filled in the presence of elders.
…… Now, I am one!!… and so are most of my friends!
I believe that the developmental stages of aging are rich and can be enhanced with planning, social connection, age appropriate health care, safety and security. We have often joked about living in an “elder commune” with our local community of friends. It turns out that there are successful models that enhance and ease the experience of aging by providing private living space, support for daily activities and additional services to support memory, dementia and physical care needs.
I want to put energy into creating a model that embodies the reasons to choose the Northcoast as a place to age.